Street Lights (Kanye West song)
|Song by Kanye West|
|from the album 808s & Heartbreak|
"Street Lights" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West. It was produced by West, with co-production from Mr Hudson. Background vocals are contributed by Esthero and Tony Williams. The song was used in an eye kit video from the In The Mirror series by Pat McGrath that starred West's wife Kim Kardashian. A music video was officially released over West's blog in June 2009. "Street Lights" has been subject to cover versions by Ruby Amanfu, Daniel Caesar and Stars.
The track includes tom-tom drums and bare piano is combined with moody effects in the opening. It was featured in a 2017 eye kit video by make-up artist Pat McGrath, which featured an appearance from West's wife Kim Kardashian and was released as part of McGrath's In The Mirror series.
Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork pointed out the song's "relatively busy sounds" as being "among the sonic highlights" of the album. It was described by Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone as being "a haze of distortion floats above tolling keyboard chords and a hammering beat".
HotNewHipHop placed "Street Lights" at number 32 on their list of West's 50 best songs.
On June 29, 2009, West shared the official music video over his blog, which was directed by Javier Longobardo. The video is animated and features West driving a car through a deserted metropolis, continuously on the search for a destination that he's unable to reach.
On West's 2009 live album VH1 Storytellers, a live performance of the track was included, which wasn't originally broadcast on VH1. West performed the track live in Seattle on the kickoff show of The Yeezus Tour on October 19, 2013. It was also part of West's setlist for the first concert in New York City for the tour when he took it to the Barclay's Center there. The track was performed by him at the 2015 Hollywood Bowl, with the theatre being flooded with stop-sign red light specifically for West's performance of it.
The song was covered by R&B singer Ruby Amanfu on June 22, 2015. A cover version entitled "Streetcar" was released by R&B singer Daniel Caesar on November 12, which gathered praise. On February 18, 2016, indie pop band Stars released a cover version with the same title as the original.
Information taken from 808s & Heartbreak liner notes.
- Songwriters: Kanye West, Jenny-Bea Englishman, Antony Williams, Benjamin McIldowie
- Producers: Kanye West, Mr Hudson
- Recorders: Andrew Dawson, Anthony Kilhoffer
- Keyboards: Jeff Bhasker
- Background vocals: Esthero, Tony Williams
- Mixer: Manny Marroquin
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- "Hear Ruby Amanfu's Nashville Twist on Kanye West's 'Streetlights'". Rolling Stone. June 23, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
- Pastuk, Slava (November 12, 2015). "Daniel Caesar's "Streetcar" is a Polished Take on a Kanye West's "Streetlights"". Noisey. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
- Breihan, Tom (February 18, 2016). "Stars – "Streetlights" (Kanye West Cover)". Stereogum. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
- 808s & Heartbreak. Roc-A-Fella Records (Media notes). Kanye West. 2008. 0-06025-1791919-8.CS1 maint: others (link)